Resolution marks the return of the Daleks – or rather a single Dalek – to Doctor Who in an action packed 2019 adventure – the only one this year.
This New Year’s Day set episode makes full use of location and showcases the effective direction from Wayne Yip in a story.
After a prologue reminiscent of Justice League, we zip along to an archaeological dig in which an ancient foe is uncovered and then resurrected.
Cue two guest stars in Lin (Charlotte Ritchie, Call The Midwife) and Mitch (Nikesh Patel, Indian Summers) as archaeologists.
It’s a new take on the single Dalek – minus its armoured casing – causing mayhem, death and destruction as it rampages across Sheffield trying to get itself rebuilt with the help of an unwilling human ‘slave pilot’ – Lin.
The TARDIS crew spend much of the episode trying to track Lin as she goes about her business, ending up at a farm which has the raw materials needed to make the distinctive Dalek outer armour casing with a dash of junkyard about it.
We get an interesting call back to Jodie Whittaker’s first episode as Lin uses available materials to recreate that terrifying look before it goes on wipe out a British army unit sent to intercept it.
And Whittaker’s Doctor gets a female opponent to face off against before the Dalek is fully reconstructed – something I’d like to see more of in the next series.
There’s even a bit of room for a B-plot which plugs into the main plot – Ryan’s missing dad, Aaron, finally returns and there’s a reunion of sorts before he gets involved in the finale.
Even though this episode got a full hour to express itself the non-cinematic running time meant certain things were edited down for brevity.
So Ryan (Tosin Cole) got some scenes with his dad (Daniel Adeboyega), Graham (Bradley Walsh) continues to impress with his acting and delivery of one-liners, but Yaz (Mandip Gill) gets the short straw again alongside Nikesh Patel’s Mitch.
We did, however, get some updates to the Doctor Who universe which might have repercussions to season 12 next year – Kate Stewart’s UNIT has been mothballed due to a lack of budget from international partners.
It’s definitely a lightly veiled dig at BREXIT and, like Ryan’s dyspraxia, you’d hope it’s not just a throwaway remark and will be revisited in the next series.
It’s a shame that’s the last we will see of Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor and her friends until reportedly ‘very early 2020’.
Filming starts again soon on season 12 which will screen next year but if they can continue the fast pace it certainly makes it easier to overlook the plot holes that could emerge if people are given time to think about it.
And the fact that an old favourite enemy in the Daleks made a re-appearance will hopefully show that creativity will win the day.